Fact: Japanese automobile manufacturers were just as willing as American makers to build fuel-thirsty trucks, they just weren’t as good at selling them. Had early versions of the Nissan Pathfinder or Toyota 4Runner sold nearly as well as the Ford Explorer, history might recall said companies less as the “green” good guys they came to be considered.
It is Consumer Guide managing editor Rick Cotta who first began noting vehicles that are turning 25 years of age, and thus becoming “classic.”
In Illinois, home to Consumer Guide Automotive© and Collectible Automobile magazine, a car is officially an antique when it crosses the quarter-century line.
Serbians knew it as the Zastava Koral, we, for a brief moment in time, knew it as the Yugo GV. To no one’s surprise, a peoples’ car designed around then 20-year old Fiat technology built behind the Iron Curtain didn’t sell especially well in the United States. Mostly we pointed and laughed. For you youngsters out there, the Yugo was a really bad car import from what was then known as Yugoslavia for the 1984-1991 model years. They didn’t sell well.
It has taken a while, but demographers seemed to have coalesced around 1985 as the year dividing the people identified as Generation Y from those we’ve labeled Millennials.
We all know what we can do to save some gas. We know that we’re obliged to avoid jackrabbit starts, that we should travel at close to the posted speed limit, and that we’re committed to religiously checking the air pressure in our tires. Noted.
We’ve seen the list before. But, you ask, what else can we do? A better question might be, is there anything we should stop doing? The answer is yes. In fact, there are five things you can stop doing immediately in the name of improved fuel economy.
Fact: Nowhere in the 1989 edition of Consumer Guide: 4X4s, Pickups & Vans is the term “sport-utility vehicle” used. Let’s call this period in time the calm before the storm.
Even at the low end of the market, station wagons were treated by makers as premium models in most model lineups. The Plymouth Cricket above, for example, listed for a cool $404 more than the sedan on which it was based. That’s a substantial 20-percent bump.
The diet is going well, thanks for asking. But even when I hit my goal (weighing what I did when I got married), I still won’t be a slender man.
I am 6’ 1”, and at the moment weigh more than 350 pounds. The plan is for there to be at least 100 pounds less of me by this time next year. Wish me luck. Still, even at my target mass, I will be a big guy, which, I believe, qualifies me to speak on behalf of big guys everywhere.
2014 Lexus ES 300h
Dates Tested: 4/28/2014-5/12/14
Miles Driven: 160
Fuel Used: 4.0 gallons
Driving Mix: 55% city, 45% highway
We recently shared a blog post honoring the five most expensive cars of 1972. For folks with the budget, all five would have made fine rides back in the day. But, what if you couldn’t get by with a sedan, much less a huge coupe? What if your familial commitments meant committing to a vehicle with some extra space aft of the rear seats, or even another row or seats?